Commercial Street is all about history.  Now, an eye-catching mosaic is bringing a splash of ancient history to the district.

“The colors- the movement- it is very creative, very inspiring,” stated Joseph Gidman, co-owner of Café Cusco.

Recreations of Incan tribal art from South America make up the 85-foot long mosaic embedded in the sidewalk near the intersection of Commercial St. and Robberson Ave.  It'll be the highlight of the new outdoor dining area for Café Cusco. 

“It is kind of fitting to embed these same symbols in cement and concrete, and it goes along with the fact that it is next to a Peruvian restaurant,” Gidman explained.

In a first-of-its-kind cost-sharing project, the City of Springfield is teaming up with a business to bring the sidewalks to life.  The city paid for the sidewalk replacement, which was already slated to take place.  The restaurant funded the materials for the artwork.  The artist, Christine Schilling, volunteered her time and services.

“I want people to be eating and drinking in an art filled world.  And so, that is what my goal is to make this place more colorful and inspiring,” said Schilling.

This likely won’t be the last time you see one of these projects being constructed.  The  public works department says the project could motivate other business owners to create similar installations.

“I think it is great the city is putting a little culture to the city, stated Brady Seibert, who was performing concrete work with his colleague Glen Hardy.

“I think it works out real good. Gives people something to talk about,” stated Hardy.

“I feel like art belongs in your everyday life.  It used to be that way in historic times.  People didn’t separate artwork and life the way we do now,” Schilling said.

Christine said she envisions more and more artsy sidewalk cafes and pathways being constructed in the coming years.

“I hope that you will come along, zoom along the sidewalk, and burst out onto Commercial Street and go, ‘Oh my gosh, it is gorgeous!’”